The 5 W’s of Your Company Picnic


A company picnic can be a wonderful way to show appreciation to your team. As with most quandaries of life, the 5 W’s can lead the way to a successful outcome!

1. Who? Determine the number of guests.

In addition to shaping the event budget, this magic number will likely pose more questions. Will this be for team members only or will an invitation be extended to families? Will the event be during weekday work hours or over the weekend?

2. What? Food and fun.

Part I – Consider a Theme
A theme is a great way to make the company picnic more than “the company picnic.” The theme can set the tone beforehand and inspire excitement, potentially boosting attendance. It may also help make the planning process easier when considering invitations, food, music, activities, and decorations. Plus, the options are endless: Oktoberfest, Carnival, Around the World, Outdoor Theater…

Part II – Food Rules
Typically determined by the other W’s, the type of food selected plays a very important role (to some, the most important!) in the event. At Airlie, we source proteins from local farms to create an exceptional cookout, barbecue, pizza

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bar among many other offerings. Think outside the box with options like s’mores around the firepit or shaved ice stations.

Part III – Activities!

Interaction is key for any team event and is a proven morale booster. Plus, having activities be a part of the picnic is just plain fun. Some Airlie favorites include capture the flag, archery, skeet shooting and scavenger hunts.

 3. When? Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall…

Start with a season, and then narrow down to a singular date. Instead of the traditional summer event, maybe a spring fever outing or fall harvest day will work best for your company. No matter what you decide, allow adequate time for planning purposes. Additionally, hosting a weekday event may allow for increased venue availability, especially in the summer and fall months. However, if families are on the guest list, a Saturday or Sunday may be preferable.

Airlie Pavilion - Northern Virginia Meeting Venue Airlie's Pavilion set-up for a Picnic Lunch

4. Where? Choosing a venue.

After the selection of a date, the venue should be the first big decision made regarding the company picnic. Variables to consider include distance from the workplace, adequate parking, rain shelter or indoor facility options and accessibility.

5. Why? Let us count the ways.

Simply, a company picnic is a great way to thank employees for their hard work. Gathering the team together – for a casual day of fun will strengthen relationships and inspire productivity. A report from RedBalloon/AltusQ found that companies with high employee engagement levels were up to 10 times more likely to see an increase in sales and profit than those with lower engagement.

Of course, Airlie would love to host your company picnic. Learn more about our facilities, or send an e-mail to our sales team to discuss the specifics of your event immediately. Happy planning!

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